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Step Forward and help make Birmingham THE skills city

The demands of the economy and the needs of the future workforce are changing. 
How is your business preparing for changing skills requirements and the increasing demands for higher level skills and qualifications within the workforce? 

Step Forward is calling on you as an employer, to meet these demands head on and invest in the right skills now to maximise growth within your business as well as the wider economy. 

Birmingham has a skills gap and if we do nothing differently by 2026 there will be: 
174,000 low skilled people chasing 150,000 low skilled jobs – a surplus of 24,000 low skilled workers with an increasing risk of unemployment 
85,000 people with intermediate skills will chase 80,000 jobs – a surplus of 5,000 people 
230,000 high skilled jobs with only 184,000 high skilled workers – a shortage of 46,000 


Investing in increasing the skills levels of your workforce creates benefits for everyone. Evidence shows that investing in skills increases productivity, supports innovation and the development of more sophisticated production processes resulting in higher quality products. Employees who have undertaken training are more motivated and display improved attitudes and aptitude in the work place, with increased retention rates. Workers benefit too – those who have been trained while at work earn better rates of pay and are more likely to be promoted. 

Skills and training information for employers

Skills and training information can be difficult to navigate, so Step Forward brings together in a one place, an Employer Toolkit containing the latest information on apprenticeships; training provision for basic skills and higher level training up to degree and post graduate level; as well as the latest funding and advice and guidance available. To view the Employer Toolkit go to, Growth Hub Advisors are also on hand to offer support and referrals into the right services.

STEP FORWARD Employer Pledge 

Step Forward is asking you to sign up to the Employer Pledge which is calling on employers to: 
1. Encourage and support all employees to achieve basic skills qualifications to at least Level 2 
2. Invest in apprenticeships including higher level apprenticeships for new and existing roles within the workforce 
3. Encourage and support employees to continue their professional development to undertake relevant higher level qualifications at Level 3/4+ 
4. Promote Step Forward and the message to upskill the workforce through social media channels and to their supply chain and customers. 

To register your interest in Step Forward and sign up to the Employer Pledge go to or to speak to a Growth Hub Advisor call 0800 032 3488.